The Roman 'curule' form of this armchair derives from designs of ancient Roman seats in Thomas Hope's Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807, and in particular those in the Aurora & Cephalus room, pl. 7. The chair pattern was later included on plate 22, no. 3 when described by Hope as 'after the manner of ancient curule chairs'.
John Marsh and Edward Jones of Leeds purchased the old established London business of John Kendell of London in 1864, opening a showroom in Cavendish Square, before entering into partnership with Henry Cribb in 1872. The firm employed many of the leading designers in the fashionable Gothic taste of the 1860s and 1870s. Notable among these was Charles Bevan who designed the lavish suite supplied to the Yorkshire mill owner Titus Salt in 1865, now at Lotherton Hall, Yorkshire, and Bruce Talbert (d.1881), author of Gothic Forms Applied to Furniture, 1868, and Examples of Ancient and Modern Furniture, 1876. A related chair with strigil-fluted tablet back was sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 15 September 2005, lot 209 (£7,200), and a related pair of armchairs by Marsh Jones & Cribb, dated 1878, was sold anonymously, Christie's, New York, 21-22 April 1995, lot 331.